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Submission + - Expedition 16 launches to the ISS this morning (

gevmage writes: "The Expedition 16 crew is about to launch to the International Space Station from Cosmodrome in Russia. The launch is scheduled for 9:22am eastern time. Live coverage is available on the NASA channel. From the NASA web site:

Commander Peggy Whitson, Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko and spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Wednesday at 9:22 a.m. EDT. Two days later the Soyuz TMA-11 vehicle carrying the new crew will dock to the Earth-facing port of the station's Zarya module.

PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - 40GB PS3 will NOT be backwards compatible! ( 2

gevmage writes: "An article on says that the 40GB version of the PlayStation 3 console, which will supplant the 60GB version (at least in Europe) will not be backwards compatible. From the article: 'In a new eye-opener from Sony the company's revealed that it's to drop backwards-compatibility support in PlayStation products.'

Personally, I think that Sony's generally good attitudes about backwards compatibility has been one reason that I own a PlayStation 2. If they dump that completely, then I may go Wii shopping."


Submission + - 50th anniversary of Sputnik I is today

gevmage writes: "Fifty years ago today, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, into orbit. This action heightened the tensions of the Cold War and launched the technological space race betweeen the two countries. The United States won the first incarnation of that race by putting six two-man crews on the surface of the moon and returning them to the earth. Since then, the Soviets (now Russians) have had many more successes with orbital space stations than the US. However, the societal implications of the space race (including the creation of NASA) cannot be overestimated. Time has a "Top 50 highs and lows" in the space race, which provides an interesting overview of space travel events.

A recent interview with Boris Chertok, aide to the father of Soviet space flight Sergei Korolov, brings up some interesting points, including the claim that the whole exercise was put together at the last minute. He also points out that the "object" that people on the ground could see wasn't Sputnik I at all, but its upper booster stage, which was in roughly the same orbit.

The Houston Chronicle has an interesting article about the buildup to the space race. It points out that the US under President Eisenhower had been sending bombers into Soviet air space for years, and the Soviet ICBM buildup that led to the Sputnik launch was started to counter that threat."

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